23 February 2016
Chris Bell (R) at the Stop the War Coalition Rally
Leeds Green Party is throwing its support behind a national protest against the government's plans to replace Trident, and encouraging people across the city to join what’s expected to be the biggest mobilisation against nuclear weapons in a generation. Leeds Green Party activists will be joining a Green bloc and Yorkshire CND campaigners at a march in London on 27 February. Last Saturday they supported a Leeds Stop the War Coalition rally as part of the build-up to the march.
Leeds Green Party believes nuclear weapons belong in the past, and the £100bn cost (possibly much more) of replacing Trident would be better spent on real steps to build a better, safer society. Alongside providing important public services, The Green Party is highlighting that funds could be invested in addressing global conflict and climate change.
Trident is a system designed to fight wars of the past, and won’t act as a deterrent to suicide bombers and modern, asymmetrical warfare. A recent report showed serious doubts in the military about Trident’s defensive value. According to the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, its use would almost certainly be illegal under international law, hence maintaining Trident has become about little more than status. Nationally, The Green Party has long been opposed to nuclear weapons. Green MP Caroline Lucas recently took over as chair of the cross-party Parliamentary CND and will be speaking at the London rally.
Leeds Green Party activist Chris Bell, from Morley, said: “This is a critical time in the public's ability to influence defence policy. I got involved in anti-nuclear weapons campaigning because I think there’s a moral imperative to urge the government not to spend billions bringing more weapons of mass destruction into being. As using these weapons is so unthinkable, renewing Trident is an appalling waste of money – at a time when so many public services are stretched and so many people in Leeds and elsewhere are struggling with benefit cuts. We’re urging anyone in Leeds who wants to see this money invested in building a better future and not weapons to join us in showing politicians the strength of feeling on this issue. The world is looking to Britain to make a stand and show moral leadership in dispensing with outdated, immoral and illegal nuclear weapons.”
People in Leeds can support the campaign by:
For more info:
Yorkshire & Humber